Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Day 35 - Made in the Shades

          Today was lithotripsy number three. It was as successful as the other two. The urologist broke up all the stones in my left kidney, and left another stint in my left ureter. We scheduled a follow up visit for Friday. My wife drove me home.
          It was a bright fall morning. The air was balmy and fresh. The colors were clean and intense. We stopped for lunch at an expensive bistro in the high-dollar shopping district. We paid too much for tasteless flatbreads and snotty service. I excused the taste because I’m on drugs. I excused the service because the waitress was pretty. I forgot my sunglasses when we left, but didn’t discover it until we got home. I did not excuse myself.
I loved those sunglasses. They were the first fashionable sunglasses I ever owned. I had them for two years. I got them right after I had cataract surgery on both eyes. That surgery entailed replacing my cloudy natural lenses with new plastic ones. The new lenses were not just clear. They were calibrated to correct the acute nearsightedness that had plagued me since I was a child. I still need glasses to read because the plastic lenses, being less flexible than natural lenses, do not focus over a range of distances from near to far. The new lenses focus from about 3 feet to infinity, so I no longer require glasses for anything but reading. I can drive, swim, walk, bike and otherwise navigate my world without the thick, heavy, and gawkish lenses I had to wear nearly my whole life.
This is unbelievably liberating as anyone who has been a slave to eyeglasses for any length of time will attest. The absolute best part of this for me is that now I can wear cool shades. After nearly 60 years of clip-ons and flip-ups I can finally look as mysterious and intimidating as that prison guard in Cool Hand Luke. I probably own twenty pairs of sunglasses by now—making up for lost time I guess. The pair I just lost were the first shades I bought after going overnight from 20/400 to 20/20 vision. They remain my favorites for that reason, no matter who is wearing them now—unless of course the pretty waitress kept them to augment her tip. She doesn’t need any help from my sunglasses to look mysterious and intimidating. 

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